When Rivers Meet Interview

When Rivers Meet is a husband and wife duo formed by Grace and Aaron Bond. The band released its debut album, We Fly Free, in November of 2020 and the album was voted #9 on Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of 2020. Blues Rock Review caught up with When Rivers Meet to learn more about the band’s beginnings, the debut album, and their quick rise in blues rock.

How did When Rivers Meet begin?

As a couple, we’ve been playing music together for several years. But it’s only in the last two years that we got serious about our music and delved deep into the blues rock genre. We released The Uprising EP in September 2019, followed by our second EP, Innocence Of Youth, in May 2020, along with our debut album We Fly Free in November 2020.

We converted an old VW van and started touring all over the country playing as many gigs as we could. We were told so many times we wouldn’t be able to play blues rock as a duo and that we would need a band. That inspired us even more to make it work and do something different. We wanted to see what people thought of our new sound especially as we love everything about playing live. We love the fact that we get to play these gigs together and having these experiences as a couple. We’re very lucky.

You have done a really good job using social media to build an audience in a relatively quick amount of time. Any advice for artists looking to use social media to build an audience?

We have! It’s been a crazy year. When all our gigs got cancelled at the beginning of the year along will all our other fellow musicians, we decided to put 100% effort into online and social media. We hadn’t left our day jobs very long to become full-time musicians, so it felt like sink or swim.

Since March when we started doing weekly live streams, we’ve seen our audience grow steadily throughout lockdown. We enjoy interacting with people and we have now created a strong community of support online. Our fans call themselves “the Rapids”, and many friendships have been made through our live streams and Fan Group on Facebook. It’s been very special.

When Rivers Meet (Photo: Rob Blackham)

You have had a lot of success with live performances on Facebook Live. How much has that helped to stay connected with the fans and just to keep sane during this crazy time?

OMG! We don’t know what we would’ve done without our Saturday night live streams. They’ve totally kept us sane. Without having a performance to look forward to every week and the structure of rehearsing for it we would’ve been completely lost. Especially in a time where people haven’t been able to go out to gigs, we’ve tried to fill that void.

The debut album We Fly Free is pretty new and has received a very strong response. It made Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of 2020 and has been getting rave reviews. How many nerves were there with this being the debut album and how rewarding has the response been?

When we were in the studio recording the album, we were completely chilled and had lots of confidence in what we were doing. As soon as we got to the mixing stage, we started to think more about what people would think and that’s when the nerves kicked in. We’ve built up such an awesome following. There was pressure to get it right and we didn’t want to let people down. As soon as the positive reviews started to come in, we felt a massive relief, and even more so when our fans received their copies and we got more great feedback.

We were so chuffed to make Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 albums. We honestly never dreamt we’d be able to achieve this with our first album!

Was it a difficult choice to put out the debut album during the pandemic?

It really wasn’t. We had planned to release the album in September 2020 but due to COVID we had to delay going into the studio, so the release date got pushed back to November. As we couldn’t go out and gig it felt like a perfect time to hunker down in the studio and focus all our energies on recording. There’s been extra complications releasing the album during the pandemic, but everybody is in the same situation and we tried to focus on what we were able to do rather than what we weren’t able to do.

Describe your sound for listeners who are new to your music.

We are really inspired by Classic Rock from the 1970s and traditional Blues. The album is pretty hi-energy, lots of gritty slide blues guitar and Grace sings the majority lead vocals. During the recording process, we were keen to keep things as live as possible. We didn’t want the album to be too polished or over produced. Adam Bowers who produced the album and both our EPs is very spontaneous with his recording techniques. We used lots of old tape delay and valve amps to get a very organic sound.

Who are your biggest influences?

Grace is a massive fan of Paul Rodgers and Bonnie Raitt. Aaron was very much influenced by epic bands like Guns N Roses and Metallica, but we both love Led Zeppelin and the original blues greats like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. We’d like to think that comes across in our music.

What is next for the band?

We are very excited about the future! We will start writing our next album this winter and go back in the studio in spring to start recording. We have lots of awesome plans for our first headline tour at the end of 2021. But for the time being, we will be keeping our focus very much online and making the most of this time before we go back to living on the road.

When Rivers Meet’s debut album “We Fly Free” is out now via One Road Records.
Visit www.whenriversmeet.co.uk for further info.

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete launched Blues Rock Review full-time in 2011 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

6 thoughts on “When Rivers Meet Interview

  • December 28, 2020 at 5:53 pm
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    “We Fly Free” is a very good debut album, and for all those who want more from this band, then look into their EP, “The Uprising”. If you go to their wbsite, you can still get a free digital download of this EP.

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  • December 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm
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    Grace and Aaron are such genuine people , they’re music is superb and , to date , I haven’t heard them play a so – so let alone a bad tune .
    I for one cant wait for the 2nd album and the tour , yes I am one of the mentioned RAPIDS !

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  • December 30, 2020 at 6:58 pm
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    Great interview, and spot on. I was lucky enough to discover the band in the early days. The first thing that struck me was their unique sound. And then their amazing voices. And then I found they were the nicest people. They have deservedly built a big following in a very short time, and if you listen to their music, or watch a livestream or video, you will find out why. Their surname is Bond, and their vibrant blues/rock will shake and stir you!! New album We Fly Free is so good, you won’t be able to stop playing it!

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  • December 31, 2020 at 11:15 am
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    An absolute belter of an album showcasing the duo’s impressive range. Difficult to say what my favourite track is but Did I Break the Law probably shades it. Cannot wait for this Covid situation to be over so I can go and see them live. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

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  • December 31, 2020 at 2:22 pm
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    Well, I run 366 Dias de Música in Facebook, loved the tunes, started sharing their live gigs and became Aaron’s fb friend.
    After a few months of showing their work to the people in the 50 countries we reach, in the middle of 2020, I detected someone pretending to be WRM in FB and warned them.
    Recently I saw they were becoming great.
    Happy for their success, I went to send a msg…
    Surprize… He had unfriended me.
    Maybe he tought I’d be asking for something… Lol, Ok.
    Happy New Year

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  • December 31, 2020 at 7:35 pm
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    Can’t think of another band that has produced so much material at start of career without a single duff song. Brilliant stuff and deserve to be huge… but image nicest possible way hope they’re not as the lives streams are so intimate… and ours!! If you’ve not got all 3, do yourself a favour and get them.

    Reply

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